Passionate caller marks anti-racism protests as "moment for change"
8 June 2020, 15:35
In a powerful moment, this caller described the lived experience of being a minority in the UK and what people can do to be an ally.
Nabeela was speaking to Darren Adam the night after Black Lives Matter protests turned violent for a second night. As protesters toppled the statue of a slave trader in Bristol, the question of institutional and systematic racism in the UK quickly became the topic of discussion. Nabeela was on hand to tell Darren Adam some home truths about racism and trying to educate people on inequality in the UK.
She began by stating initially even that bringing up the conversation of racism with white people can be an uncomfortable situation. "They get really uncomfortable even if they aren't racist" she said. Nabeela noted that white people shouldn't feel uncomfortable in the conversation, as "it isn't just about black lives, it is about every life" and how society improves following these events will rely on how open Brits are to the conversation.
Nabeela told Darren that she has experienced racism in board meetings among nearly every other environment in her life. "I have seen it everywhere" she said. The caller also reminded listeners that "Boris Johnson didn't even acknowledge George Floyd's death until Keir Starmer said it to him", highlighting how slow movements in leadership to address the topic will trickle down to reflect public debate.
Nabeela went on to address how coronavirus has highlighted racial inequality in the UK and has given her a moral dilemma as anti-racism protests sweep the nation. She told Darren that she has been doing everything in her power to "influence the protests to be as calm as they can" adding that "nobody wants to go about spreading the disease."
She went back to trying to start a conversation on racism in the UK and shared how difficult it is to address the problem. "We still can't say anything because there is a guilt" she said. Rallying behind the movement of anti-racism protesters last weekend, Nabeela said that "we have to acknowledge the sins of our past" and tackle societal racism more intensely than we have before.
Darren was quiet during the call, soaking in the strong words of Nabeela. She went on to tell him that minorities in the UK do not feel accepted, be it in the workplace, playground or on the streets. "We are tolerated" she claimed.
In a motivational call out to listeners, Nabeela concluded by urging people to "please accept that we need real systematic change."
"This is a moment in time for change" she said, leading to Darren commending her speech and admitting it left him speechless.